An overwhelming 82 per cent of UK-based lawyers voted to remain in the EU in the referendum, new data collected by The Lawyer shows.
However, a new survey of our readers also shows that over a quarter (26 per cent) of managing and senior partners voted for Brexit. This is a higher percentage than the average leave vote in the legal market of 18 per cent.
These results show how the vote in the legal market differed strongly from the general public’s attitude towards Brexit.
Within the professional services market, lawyers are the least likely to see the primacy of UK courts as important regardless of their vote in the EU referendum. Instead, they claim that the highest objective for Brexit negotiations should be free trade with the EU.
But that was not the only difference. Only 30 per cent of legal readers agreed that “we just need to get on with Brexit”, compared to a majority of 54 per cent of the general public. Some 56 per cent of readers disagreed with the statement compared to 14 per cent of the general public.
Two out of three of those surveyed by The Lawyer claim to want a second referendum to determine whether Brexit should go ahead. Of these, 19 per cent have already said that they would vote to leave should that referendum occur.
The Lawyer’s survey has also revealed that one in four readers voted for the Lib Dems in the last election. Lib Dem leader Vince Cable is the politician with the most popular views on Brexit within the legal sector, contrasting with the least popular views from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Jean Claude Juncker.
The survey was conducted at the end of 2017, collating opinions from almost 3,000 respondents. Of these, 22.4 per cent worked in-house, 70.5 per cent worked in private practice and 5.6 per cent worked at the Bar.
Next month The Lawyer will release an exclusive report in collaboration with Thomson Reuters that explores how Brexit will impact firms in the UK and across Europe.
The in-depth analysis includes insight from over 300 senior lawyers in private practice, detailing how their clients and their own businesses will be impacted and their strategy to respond to Brexit.